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Monday, Jan. 30, 2006 12:01 AM

Recently, I've had a hankering for milkshakes.

So run off to Baskin & Robbins and get a shake. Problem solved, right?

Not quite.

My father used to make vanilla milkshakes for me when I was a child. Thick, delicious shakes using an old Osterizer/blender.

The secret? A dash of Trader Vic's Orgeat Syrup, which set the flavor apart from other milkshakes. (The diner around the corner used to serve a good shake as well, not the sugary soft-serve whatever that passes for shakes at most fast-food joints.)

That's two or three generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, enough milk to cover it, and a dash of orgeat syrup. (Torani Almond Syrup works fine if you can't find the Trader Vic's stuff.) Run the blender on low just to mix everything up, and enjoy.

Thanks, Dad.

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